Free Market Radicals
Free Market Radicals is a towns and rural focused project that is funded through the National Lottery’s Emerging Futures Fund. The Emerging Futures Fund is supporting a number of projects across the UK and is intended to help communities to think about their futures against the backdrop of Covid-19, looking at how things are changing and what is possible in the future – with people in the lead.
Free Market Radicals has been developed in partnership between Cultural Engine CIC and Hundred Others CIC. We will explore how the concept of the ‘market’ borrows from the original meaning - a traditional space of social/cultural exchange, trade, craft and local distinctiveness which provides the origins of many ‘market towns’ – and how this now (ironically) relates more closely with the concept of economic and cultural ‘globalisation’, which has challenged much of what a market town may have once offered in favour of corporate standardisation. There is an interest in ‘localism’ particularly post Covid-19, but it has been growing for some time as an alternative to the concept of a ‘free’ market approach which tends to exclude local stakeholders.
We will be exploring with 9 towns and villages in Essex what they would like to see happen in their places post-Covid-19, and what can be led by the community. We will be thinking about what can be done to bring new creativity and cultural vibrancy to the town or village, identifying underused public spaces or buildings, thinking about heritage and looking at what makes a place distinctive. More to follow soon!
Please get in contact if you want more information. Also see Hundred Others CIC.